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Michael Irvin: Stephen A. Smith & I Are Perfect Pair For First Take

“Michael Irvin said he was excited by the idea of having something akin to a postgame show, where he could talk about what has actually happened instead of making predictions.”

Ricky Keeler

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ESPN

Starting on September 6, NFL Network analyst and NFL Hall-Of-Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin will be joining Stephen A. Smith every Monday at 10 AM ET on First Take and debating him on some of the hot topics in football. 

For the first time since the news was announced, Irvin discussed it on The Michael Irvin Podcast over at PodcastOne and it is safe to say he is very excited for this new opportunity since Smith was the first guest to appear on his podcast back in October 2020 and Irvin says they make a perfect pair.

“He and I both love talking and we love to think we are right all the time,” he said. “I got to prove I’m right and he’s the strawberry on my apple pie is proving you wrong. That’s what great debate is all about. I can’t wait to have a chance to do this with Stephen A every Monday.”

Irvin has thought about whether he could debate Smith on a daily basis, but says he likes the schedule that he has now. And with Thursday Night Football, Inside The NFL, and NFL Gameday Morning, that schedule stays pretty full. 

“I’m a workaholic. I try to keep something. I like my schedule now. I work hard for 7-8 months and I get 3-4 months off. I like that. It’s a grind doing the time.”

Michael Irvin said he was excited by the idea of having something akin to a postgame show, where he could talk about what has actually happened instead of making predictions. Smith told him that it will not just be a postgame show, but it will be the number one postgame show for football fans to watch.

Will Michael Irvin be satisfied if some debates have no clear winner? Certainly not. That is why he says First Take fans will want to subscribe to his podcast.

“Right here, we will continue those debates. If I can’t finish it with him, I’ll bring him here, we’ll finish it here. Some of you may have different thoughts. I’ll get on you for getting on his side…It ain’t just about me being right, it’s about me proving you wrong, but I’m going to educate you and entertain you in the process.” 

For those that were wondering, Irvin is going to be doing the show in-studio instead of going remote, so if the debates are anything like the two of them have had in the past, it should be very entertaining to say the least.

In addition to Irvin, Stephen A. Smith will be debating Tim Tebow every Friday and he will debate other ESPN analysts and personalities during the week. 

Sports TV News

Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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Sports TV News

Terry Bradshaw Is Cancer Free

Bradshaw’s candor comes after struggling through a sentence during the September 25th edition of the show, in which Howie Long helped finish his sentence.

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During FOX NFL Sunday, Terry Bradshaw revealed he was diagnosed with two different forms of cancer in the last year.

However, after surgeries and treatments, Bradshaw said he is now cancer free.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer said he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November of last year and surgery and treatments removed the cancer. Then, in March of this year, a tumor was found on the left-side of his neck. Bradshaw called it a “Merkel cell tumor”, which he had removed.

Bradshaw’s candor comes after struggling through a sentence during the September 25th edition of the show, in which Howie Long helped finish his sentence.

The 74-year-old has worked on FOX NFL Sunday since its inception in 1994. He will be inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame later this year.

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Sports TV News

Scott Van Pelt’s ‘Bad Beats’ Becoming 30-Minute Monthly Show

Van Pelt, alongside “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, recaps the toughest losses suffered by sports gamblers with unconventional final moments and unexpected outcomes as it pertains to the over/under or point spread.

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The popular “Bad Beats” segment from SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt is being turned into a monthly half-hour show on ESPN.

Van Pelt, alongside “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, recaps the toughest losses suffered by sports gamblers with unconventional final moments and unexpected outcomes as it pertains to the over/under or point spread, otherwise known as a “bad beat”. Generally, the segment lasts around 5-10 minutes. ESPN will repurpose the content from the show to package it into a half-hour edition.

The new monthly show debuted yesterday at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN.

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